Severe quake jolts region, tremors felt in Karachi
19 January, 2011
KARACHI: A severe earthquake, measuring 7.4 on the Richter-scale, rocked Pakistan and adjacent countries in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The epicenter of the quake was 150 km north-west of Kharan in Balochistan. It was about 321 km north-west of Quetta, where Pakistan’s borders meet with Iran and Afghanistan. No damage of property or loss of life was reported till the filing of this report.
Agencies add: The United States Geological Service reported a major earthquake in a remote area in southwestern Pakistan measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale. The earthquake struck at 1:30 am local time on Wednesday in Balochistan province near the border with Afghanistan. The earthquake occurred at 1:23 a.m. (3:23 p.m. Tuesday ET) at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). It was centered 55 kilometres (34 miles) west of Dalbandin; 263 km (164 miles) west of Kalat; 301 kilometers (187 miles) east southeast of Zahedan, Iran; and 793 kilometers (492 miles) northeast of Muscat, Oman, the USGS said on its website.
Local TV reports said the earthquake was felt in several provinces in the country. Initial reports of damage were not yet available. Earthquakes often rattle the region. A magnitude 7.6 quake on Oct. 8, 2005, killed about 80,000 people in northwestern Pakistan and Kashmir and left more than 3 million homeless.
Our correspondent adds from Karachi: The tremors of the earthqauke were felt in various parts of Karachi early Wednesday, jolting people out of their beds. The tremor created panic in the city with many residents rushing out of their homes in sheer terror. Those living in high rises, especially in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, felt the major impact of the tremor. At Jauhar More and in other areas, men, women and children were standing on the streets outside their apartments, afraid to return to their homes. In some cases reported from Clifton, people residing in high rises moved to single or double storey homes of their friends and relatives.
The staffers of our sources also felt the tremor, which shook the building. Those sitting on computers felt the machines and the desk swaying. Many of the staffers rushed to the stairways in panic to leave the building.
Experts said it was too earlyu to assess if the quake had caused any damage in the city. They said that the picture will become clearer only in the morning. However, till our going to the press, no casualty from anywhere in the city was reported.